VASSAL application icon, part 3

Here are three potential application icons I received from Matt, my graphic
designer friend. These are based on your comments on sketches form the last round.

In case anyone was wondering, the pawn is modelled on the ones used in the game “Sorry”, the cannon is based on an M1857 12-pounder Napoleon with a No. 2 Field Carriage, and the “V” is based on the letter “V” as commonly seen in the Roman alphabet.

Here’s a picture of my desktop with these three icons on it. It’s worth
noting that they look quite a bit different against a darker background.
Presumably the desktops of most users will not be light grey, so this
gives a more accurate indication of how the icons would look when in use.

Well I really like the cannon icon best, but because we are seeing an
increasing use of non wargame modules becoming available I think the icon
needs to be more generic (like the engine) and in considering this I would
reluctantly vote for the Pawn first and the “V” second

For some reason the cannon reminds me of the old 1958 AH Gettysburg box
cover :slight_smile:

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The V looks best. The cannon is alright, but not every game is a consim. I’m not inclined towards the other one, however.

  • M.

2008/8/24 uckelman < (>

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I don’t particularly care for the V, it’s between the other two, they have a lot more character.

I don’t have a problem with the Cannon, it represents Vassal’s roots after all, but I think the pawn image is stronger visually, especially in the smaller sizes.


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I would put the cannon first, the V second, and the pawn third.

A few observations:

  1. Something several people have mentioned is that maybe we should avoid the
    cannon because not all games are consims. If we accept that line of argument,
    though, it limits us to design elements which are common to all games. Not
    all games—not even all consims—use hexes. Some games have cards, some not.
    Some games have no dice (but both Cyberboard and ZunTzu have dice in their
    icons). The only thing left I can think of is a rule book, which isn’t going
    to be very iconic.

  2. Regarding smaller sizes: What you’re seeing in the images is what
    you get when you render the SVG at various sizes. For the three smallest
    sizes, a final version would have a bit of touch-up work done, so at
    16x16 and 22x22 especially, you’d have something which is a tad sharper.
    Secondly, sometimes at the smallest sizes design elements which are in
    a 3/4 view are changed to be top-down or simplified in order to make them
    more recognizable. This is something we could do with any of these icons.
    E.g., the hex in the cannon icon could become flat instead of in
    perspective at 16x16. This would help with that icon looking too short at
    16x16. We could reduce the number of hexes to one at that size for the
    V and pawn icons, which might help with the hexes turning into a blob, too.

On Aug 24, 2008, at 7:44 AM, uckelman wrote:

My preference in order:

  1. The “V” icon.
  2. The cannon
  3. The pawn

I like the generic style of the V, as well as the way it ties most
directly into Vassal. Much less chance of mistaking the icon for some
other game icon. OK, the pawn doesn’t have much of a problem with
that, but I could see a Napoleonic or Risk game coming up with
something that could be confused with the cannon.

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My preference:

  1. The cannon. Looks nice, pays homage to VASSAL’s roots.
  2. The “V” icon. I’m indifferent to this one.
  3. The pawn. - Looks more like a flask full of something my Level 6 Barbarian shouldn’t drink (if I was an RPGer).

had problems to realize the pawn as a pawn,… but nice icons really,… V is my favourite, it gives an association with vassal, and card and std board games are fairly represented by it too… would be cool to see all mod files to be drawn with one of those!

My favorite is the ‘V’.

Aesthetically, I like the cannon, but if I were looking for something in my task bar to remind me of VASSAL, it would have to be the ‘V’. It’s the image that brings the program to mind most naturally.

The reason I like the aesthetics of the cannon:

  • 3d effect is nice
  • color scheme more appealing than in the case of the pawn

Take the format of the cannon icon and swap the cannon for an upright 3-dimensional ‘V’ and we’d have a winner.


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3d V and hex, unrendered, any font is possible (and angle because its a 3d model)

Something like this then? (note this is a very rough quick 5 min model, rendered with texture/lighting would look a lot more polished)

3D-ness is fine at 32x32 and larger. 3D-ness is at best unnoticeable and at
worst makes design elements unrecognizable at 22x22 and 16x16. Rendering
icons from 3D models is not generally going to get you the best-looking icons
because depth and fine shading don’t turn out well at very small sizes, and
icons are all about recognizability.

As for replacing the cannon with V, we’ve been over this ground once before.
We had something like what you’re suggesting on this thread, examples #11-12: … c&start=15

While I still agree that this is better than the ones which came before it
on that thread, it’s not as dynamic as the V icon on offer here and I think
even a professional take on it will still look bland and generic. We don’t
want bland. As the graphic designers say, we want something with “pop”.

I would lean towards something “fun”, whatever that may be. Assuming games are meant to be fun right?


Not Fun: V


In fact can’t we just steal artwork from Advance Wars? haha

OK this is the last, I’ve stopped I promise!